John Gossage's The Pond was groundbreaking when first published in 1985, and remains one of our most important photobooks. Consisting of photographs taken around a pond in an unkempt wooded area at the edge of a city, the volume presents a considered foil to Henry Thoreau's Walden. The photographs do not aspire to the "beauty" of classical landscapes in the tradition of Ansel Adams. Instead, they reveal a subtle vision of reality on the border between humankind and nature. Gossage depicts nature in full splendor, yet at odds with both itself and humankind. Robert Adams described the work as "believable because it includes evidence of man's darkness of spirit, memorable because of the intense fondness [Gossage] shows for the remains of the natural world."
Aperture is pleased to reissue this second, twenty-fifth anniversary edition of this classic monograph, a highly sought-after collectible, with three additional images, two essays, and a new dust jacket inspired by the original design. The book was accompanied by an exhibition of the same title opening at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.
John Gossage (born in New York, 1946) is well known for his artist’s books and photographic publications, and has produced seventeen books and boxes on specific bodies of work. His work has been exhibited worldwide. His photographs are held in numerous private and public collections, including those of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., and Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gossage lives in Washington, D.C. He is the recipient of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship.
Gerry Badger (essay) has been a photography critic for nearly thirty years. His books include The Photobook: A History, Volumes I and II (coauthored with Martin Parr), and The Genius of Photography: How Photography Has Changed Our Lives. The Pleasures of Good Photographs, his collection of essays, was recently published by Aperture.